Baucus Health Bill: No Reading, Writing or Arithmetic - and No Transparency!
In their urgent rush to force healthcare legislation, democrats IGNORE the Obama administration's assurances of government TRANSPARENCY to the public- previously blogged about on Texas GOP Vote, they IRRESPONSIBLY DISMISS the need to WRITE the bill in the legislative terms that the Congressional Budget Office requires to make a comprehensive COST ESTIMATE before voting on it, and they ARROGANTLY ARGUE that most people don't READ the legislative language anyway!
This National Review article informs us of a dispute over an ammendment that would allow the Finance Committee to vote on the conceptual language of the bill rather than actual legislative wording. This irresponsible ammendment, put forward by democratic Senator Baucus and passed by a vote of 13-10, is arrogantly defended by his democratic cohorts:
Senator Kent Conrad (D-N.D.) actually argued that having the exact legislative language didn't matter because "there's 5 percent of the American people that understand the legal language."
Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) was blunt. “Let’s be honest about it, most people don’t read the legislative language."
The above statements by Conrad and Kerry illustrate the striking combination of irresponsibility and arrogance in this democratic-led legislative process!
Republicans, who have been hot on the idea this year that lawmakers should know what they are voting on, are pressing for the committee to adopt an amendment Wednesday requiring that the legislative language and a cost estimate from the Congressional Budget Office to be posted on the Internet for 72 hours before voting.
and that Republican legislators have this to say:
This probably sounds a little crazy to some people that we are voting on something before we have seen legislative language,” said Sen. Jim Bunning (R-Ky.), who introduced the amendment. “The way legislative language is written, you can have a large impact on the way the policies are implemented."
Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) pointed out that the Finance Committee usually deals with tax legislation, which is arcane. But the health care bill is “a major substantive bill that changes one sixth of the economy.”
Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine), who has long pushed for legislative language from Baucus, said she supported the amendment. “I do believe the American people are rightfully entitled to what exactly we are doing, what we are legislating,” Snowe said. “Words matter and so do the numbers. … Time is our ally, not our enemy. People are rightfully concerned in this country that we will get this right.”